Approachability – how companies are warming up the world wide web

The first point of contact we usually have with a company or brand these days is online. If we want to learn more, get in touch, buy products or complain about something we usually turn to the world wide web. A wave of creative and funny additions to websites that really present a non-serious and non-technical way to communicate with users has been catching my attention in recent weeks.

The most important quality that this brings to any company or brand is approachability. When a customer chooses to interact with a company or brand online, there are ways to remove the “barrier” that lies between you and your customers.

For example, check out the way the Dropbox team introduce their staff. They keep it real and funny, in the process display their approachability.

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Bankwest do a great job of bringing approachability and fun to the traditionally serious industry of banking. When searching through their ‘About us’ I came across their ‘Happiness experts’ – This was a welcomed surprise

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Error 404 pages are another great way to show a more approachable side to your customers. Check this out from Mint.com:

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And here Twitter actually put their famous bird in a less than desirable state!

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…while Imgur have put this spin on what is an annoying system state for most users:

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This one from Hipmunk is one of my favourites. Being the scatterbrain I can sometimes be, I was on the search for flights when my error input became known to me:

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I guess the moral of the story is to keep it light. People are social characters. We love to connect, share and feel welcomed. Keeping the technical speak to a minimum and finding the right balance of professionalism and approachability is the key to connecting with people… and it makes things that little bit more fun.

And in the spirit of keeping things light & fun, here is our Principal Consultant Dave, trying out the latest eye tracking glasses…

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Got other examples to share? Send them through 🙂

-Danielle

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